When most people think about optimizing their websites to rank higher in searches, Bing SEO is rarely a priority. This is not surprising considering that Google accounts for almost 90% of search engine traffic worldwide. This is no small feat and competition is stiff. While Bing accounts for only 3% or less of the international market, some people do use Bing exclusively. In fact, in America Google and Bing’s search engine market share is 63.8% and 21.3%, respectively.

This can make it an untapped market that is easier to rank on than Google. Bing uses a similar algorithm to Google, but it is not the same. This means that ranking highly on Google does not necessarily equal an automatic high ranking on Bing. Even so, it’s a good starting point when working on Bing SEO.


Achieve a High Ranking on Bing

Before optimizing for Bing, create a list of the three major search engines and decide which one is most important to you. Start by looking at which ones filter the most traffic to your website. Some factors that lead to higher Bing rankings may interfere with your Google SEO.

1. Write High-Quality Content

All search engines have one primary goal: to provide consumers with the answers to their most pressing questions. They want to share high-quality content that informs, entertains or both. Search engine companies rely on tools to achieve this. While the tools are not always effective, they are constantly improving and honing in on this specific goal.

Because of this, businesses can never go wrong with creating high-quality content that provides the information people need. The more unique and engaging the content, the better your chances of attracting more readers, bringing in repeat visitors and beating out the Bing SEO competition.

Writing is a subjective skill and artform. What one person loves, someone else — even within the same target demographic ― may hate. Focusing on more objective benchmarks can help you ensure you offer objective quality, even when people disagree. Bing offers three criteria for what it considers good content:

  • Sufficiently detailed and offers useful information
  • Easy to find and well-presented
  • Trustworthy

2. Cite Sources

Bing SEO is big on sources. Keep this in mind when creating your high-quality pieces. This goes beyond just citing where you got your information by using links and hyperlinks. Nevertheless, this is a good starting point.

So, what else does it include? Bing likes to know who the author of the on-page content is. Some companies keep this information private, especially when they outsource the content creation work to someone else. Reconsider not listing an article’s author if you want to rank highly on Bing.

Another source to consider is free versus sponsored. In other words, does the content come from the owners or admins of the site, or is it paid content provided by a third party? Bing SEO tests show that it ranks websites more highly when they clearly differentiate their sponsored or promotional posts from regular content.

3. Use Exact Keywords

Using keywords exactly as people type them into search engine bars tends to undermine reading quality. It’s not always easy to include these naturally into the text, especially when they form a full sentence that does not replicate natural language. One example would be the phrase “how rank high on Bing.”

Google has recognized this and now relies on more intelligent algorithms that learn to look beyond exact phrasing. Bing still ranks the exact keyword match highly. This is evident in domain names, top-level title tags, meta descriptions and even anchor texts. Sometimes using your top keywords here is not practical either.

Because of this, brands need to take time to decide what is most important to them before tackling this aspect of Bing SEO. Are you willing to reduce the quality of your content to fit keywords as is? Could you risk a potentially inappropriate or too-specific domain if it meant ranking highly for your top product on one search engine?

4. Add Backlinks

Over the past few years, backlinks have become less important when determining how highly content should rank. Even so, it still plays a role in Google SEO. When it comes to Bing SEO, marketers are still trying to unravel the mystery. Here’s what they know so far:

  • For the top-ranking websites on Bing, up to 53% of the backlinks include anchor text with keywords, which is 10% more than on Google.
  • For pages that rank under the top 30 on Bing, 2% of the anchor texts included stop words; on Google, this is usually 10%.
  • There’s a high correlation of 0.29 between how well a site ranks and the number of backlinks.

What does this mean for Bing SEO? Using backlinks is not enough. As alluded to before, to boost SEO power, anchor texts need to be the exact keywords. Also, unlike Google, the quantity rather than the quality of the backlinks seem to be the most important. Finally, Bing also pays close attention to social media shares when counting up backlinks.

5. Make It Look Good

Both Google and Bing want to share websites with consumers that are easy to use. Google likes to keep it simple with text and HTML. It does not put a lot of effort into reading flash content. One potential reason for this is that flash content can slow down a website and Google prefers fast loading.

Bing SEO has a softer spot for flash and good aesthetics. It prioritizes both the appearance of the website and how well it functions. One good way to create a common ground between the two search engines’ algorithms and rank for both is to include videos and images.

Good SEO specialists also know how to create rich content not just on a webpage but in the search results. Note that Google, Microsoft (Bing) and Yahoo partnered together in 2011 to encourage more webmasters to include structured data on their websites.


Understand Why Bing SEO Matters

Most people never give Bing a chance. This is all the more reason to do the exact opposite and optimize for an engine that is less saturated than Google. With fewer marketers trying to game the system, Bing holds on to effective markers of good content that Google has had to let go of. Because of this, the traffic it does send to your website is less likely to bounce. Bing visitors also click on more affiliate links and view more pages.

No amount of optimizing for Bing is likely to make it send more traffic to your website than Google can. Still, receiving more high-quality traffic is often much better than trying to play the numbers game. If you need help optimizing your website, start off with a free website analysis from Boostability today.


Colton is the former Director of SEO Strategy at Boostability testing and defining the products and processes that make Boostability's customers successful. He was part of Boostability for over 8 years. Colton loves hanging out with his family and gaming. He runs a personal blog over at www.coltonjmiller.com where he discusses gaming, life, and SEO.